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RPO and RCB team up for 16th Nutcracker

November 06, 2015

For Immediate Release: November 5, 2015
Media Contacts:   (RPO) Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com; (RCB)
RPO Inforpo.org, facebook.com/RochesterPhilharmonic, twitter.com/RochesterPhil, rochesterphilharmonic.blogspot.com, instagram.com/rochesterphilharmonic
RCB info: rochestercityballet.com, facebook.com/rochestercityballet, twitter.com/RCBallet



Holiday tradition opens day before Thanksgiving for first time
175 area children perform with professionals, make lifetime memories

Rochester, NY – The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) kicks off Rochester’s holiday season with The Nutcracker, led by Principal Conductor for Education and Engagement Michael Butterman (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) and featuring Rochester City Ballet (David Palmer, artistic director; Jamey Leverett, production artistic director) and the Bach Children's Chorus (Karla Krogstad, director). The six-performance run opens on Wednesday, November 25 at 7 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE new date & time this year) and continues on Friday, November 27 at 2 & 7 p.m.; Saturday, November 28 at 2 & 7 p.m.; and Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.

“This is truly Rochester’s Nutcracker – performed by our world-class orchestra with Rochester’s only full-time, professional ballet company,” explains RPO VP of Marketing & Communications Katie Sejba. “This year, we’re hoping that our new Wednesday evening performance will allow even more families – especially those with out-of-town guests – to enjoy this special experience together.”

Also enjoying the special experience will be the 175 children from all over the greater Rochester area, who will perform with the RPO and RCB in Rochester’s longest-running holiday tradition.  

“So many local kids have performed with us – it seems like everyone I meet tells me of the time their classmate, little sister, or neighbor's child performed in Nutcracker,” says RCB Executive Director Nichole Gantshar. "It's so exciting to see how many families have shared generational memories around this magical annual production."

“I love this time of year,” adds Director Jamey Leverett, who will continue as artistic director of The Timothy Draper Center for Dance Education while David Palmer begins his tenure as RCB artistic director. “All of the children are so excited to perform on stage in the beautiful, historic Eastman Theatre.”

Some of those children even end up as professional dancers in Rochester City Ballet, as has this year’s Sugar Plum Fairy, Jessica Tretter.

“I began as a ‘party child’ when I was just nine years old,” says Tretter, who has danced all but three or four roles in the production over the years, her favorites being Dew Drop and the Harlequin doll. “It's always a great way to kick off the holidays and introduce people to the ballet.”

The RPO musicians also look forward to performing this holiday favorite, especially new Principal Cellist Ahrim Kim, who has never played it before.

“It's always a privilege to present this great score," says Maestro Butterman, who has conducted Tchaikovsky's ballet well over a hundred times.  "I think it's exciting to know that every year, many folks have their first RPO experience with this wonderful music."  

TICKETS start at $24/$12 for children ages 12 and under. They may be purchased in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or online at rpo.org.

The RPO’s 93rd season is presented by Dawn and Jacques Lipson. The 2015/16 Philharmonics Series is sponsored by M&T Bank; the 2015/16Pops Series is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Fibertech Networks. RPO performances are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional sponsors include Monroe County; the City of Rochester; the Alfred Davis and Brunhilde Knapp Artists Performance Fund; the Mozart Performance Fund: Sarah D. Atkinson, M.D. and Steven Hess; City Newspaper; Kids Out and About.com; WARM 101.3; the Katherine T. and Jon L. Schumacher Orchestra Musician Soloist Fund.

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 160 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 22-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches more than 12,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.

Rochester City Ballet (RCB) is a contemporary ballet company based established in 1987 by its founding artistic director, the late Timothy M. Draper, and led artistically from 2003 to 2015 by Jamey Leverett. RCB has a reputation for excellence, versatility, and singular repertoire, which includes award-winning contemporary ballets and masterworks, over 20 of which were created by Leverett. The company performs at Nazareth College Arts Center and in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. In July 2010, RCB presented its first New York City season, and in July 2013, it was selected to perform in the Inside/Out performance series at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts.

Washington Ballet Associate Artistic Director David Palmer joined the company in November 2015 as artistic director. Since retiring as a principal dancer with San Francisco Ballet and The Joffrey, Palmer has created more than 40 ballets for companies including The Australian Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and many others.

RCB is committed to enriching the quality of life in the greater Rochester community. In May 2015, it held its first annual sensory-friendly performance for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The company has performed many times for the entire second grade of the Rochester City School District, and has taken dance into schools through interactive performances and creative problem-solving workshops. RCB's In Studio Series has exposed community members to an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the creative process and an opportunity to experience dance at very little cost. 

Media please note: High-resolution images for The Nutcracker are available at 2015 Nutcracker_credit Erich Camping, and interviews as well as photo and footage opportunities can be arranged.


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